October 1, 2017.
The Industrial Hygiene office is tasked with identifying health hazards and implementing programs to protect employees at NASA Armstrong as outlined in NPR 1800.1. Common health hazards at the center include noise, oxygen depletion, ionizing radiation, and non-ionizing radiation. Two methods are utilized for analyzing hazards: computation and surveying. Industrial hygienists employ computational methods to check their survey results, to analyze hazards where measurement is impossible, and to analyze future scenarios. Theoretical calculations provide hazard distances for industrial hygienists to avoid harmful radiation when surveying radio frequency (RF) instruments. The process of finding hazard distances for RF instruments is tedious and prone to simple computation mistakes due to the complex nature of near field and far field power density calculations for differing types of RF emitters,. To increase efficiency and accuracy of instrument analysis, a radio frequency hazard distance calculator was created. This calculator references the IEEE 95.3 guidelines for theoretical calculations of exposure fields from RF instruments. In order to keep Armstrong employees safe, the calculator selects for conservative estimates of RF hazards. These conservative estimates were verified by surveying instruments to measure actual power density. The RF hazard distance calculator efficiently produced reasonable and conservative estimates of power densities for a variety of RF emitters.
NASA Armstrong (Formerly Dryden) Flight Research Center
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program under Grant # 1418852. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was also made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, in partnership with Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), and Armstrong Flight Research Center.